Do You Know the Way to San Joaquin?

[smartads]Went to a wedding this past Sunday in San Joaquin, IloiloAbout a 90-minute drive from the jeepney terminal near Ortiz Dock. Left the Jordan Wharf in Guimaras around 7:30 am. The wedding was to begin at 10:00 am. Never been that far out of Iloilo City before, so the trip was a first for my asawa and myself. Since we were going to be sponsors at the proceedings, my wife's 28-year-old god-daughter was getting hitched,  we had to wear traditional Filipino attire. My wife (on the far right in the photo) wore a classic Kimona (thanks for the help on the right term, Rob) , and I wore a Barong Tagalog over a plain white T-shirt. DSC

My wife put her dress and my Barong in a large white Mendrez shopping bag. No way we could wear those clothes on the jeepney ride to the Jordan Wharf, the 15-minute pump boat trip to Iloilo City and then the 90-minute trek to San Joaquin, the last city before you enter Antique Province on Panay Island. I wore my new size 36 waist black dress pants that my asawa bought for P550 (12.77 US Dollars) at SM City (regular price P1700, $39.48) and $100 Florsheims I had purchased about 20 years ago. I had shaved my gray beard  a couple of days ago and trimmed my nose hairs so I was ready to go.

Caught a tricycle ride for P40 (93 cents) from the Ortiz Dock to the jeepney terminal. Normally would take about five minutes but our trike driver had some problems with his motorcycle; he pulled the bike over, fiddled with the wiring on the handlebars for about five minutes as my wife and he exchanged some nervous laughter and  words spoken in Ilonggo (Hiligaynon.)

The engine finally fired up, and we were on our way. Arrived at the terminal and three young men immediately ran over to the tricycle as one grabbed the shopping bag I'm holding and told me where the jeepney for San Joaquin was. I'm not blind. The vehicle was about six feet from me and had  "San Joaquin" painted in big black letters on the side.  I quickly took the bag from him and told him I could carry it myself. My wife and I boarded the jeepney as the three men that had met me at the tricycle looked on hoping to get a tip. Sorry, I tip my porters at the dock that actually do something and load boxes of groceries for us. I feel no obligation to tip some slackers looking for a few easy pesos.

Cost only P60 each ($1.39) for the ride to San Joaquin. Only started out with four passengers with a conductor hanging outside at the rear entrance collecting money. We had plenty of room on the big jeepney,  which after making several stops, picked up an additional 14 or 15 passengers. Drove along some beautiful scenery as we caught glimpses of the longest beach area in Iloilo province that runs along the path to our destination. Noticed a few beach resorts, but for the most part our view was unfortunately blocked by nipa hut homes built along the road. But it was a welcome change of pace driving through the various towns along the way until we reached San Joaquin. Campo Santo

(Photo by Ree Dexter on Flickr. Campo Santo in San Joaquin, Iloilo.)

Stopped for about 15 minutes as we waited for more passengers, and when the jeepney started out again,  our driver soon reached the church that the wedding was being held at. I did not know that my asawa had asked if he would mind stopping by the church so we would not have to take another tricycle to reach it. He gladly obliged, and as we got off the jeepney the first words out of my asawa's mouth to some female members of the wedding parting standing at the front entrance were: "Where's the CR?"(Comfort Room/Restroom) Oh, if I only had a peso for each time my wife has uttered those words in the past 11 years I would be a rich man!

(Next post, the wedding, where I sweat like a pig in a sauna bath in my Barong Tagalog.)

Author: The Kano

POST AUTHOR: "THE KANO." Dave DeWall, "The Kano", is the Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of "Philippines Plus" in publication since August 2009. He is also the CEO of Lizard Poop Productions and author of the best-selling guide book "The Philippines Expat Advisor." Dave moved to the Philippines in July 2009 from Central Illinois with his lovely wife of over 19 years, "The Sainted Patient Wife." The couple reside in a rural province in Western Visayas, Guimaras. The small island province is said to have the sweetest mangoes in the world. They do not have any children but are the proud owners of eight active canines, including a Belgian Shepherd called "Killer" "Killer" has bitten five people in the last two years along with one goat and a carabao. "Killer" doesn't like strangers. Or goats. Or carabaos.

12 thoughts on “Do You Know the Way to San Joaquin?

  1. San Joaquin is one of the nicest towns on Panay. When I was there about 25 years ago I was impressed how clean it was. The church is impressive.

    By the way, the dresses are called kimonas.

    1. It is a very lovely town, Rob. We’ll have to go back for a return visit when we have some time to check out the church and other sites located there.
      Thanks for the info on the dress, I’ve corrected my post. Appreciate the help.

    1. We went through Miagao, Lance, looks like a nice town, too. Thanks for the tip. I’ll be doing a review of some subdivisions we visited in Iloilo Sunday afternoon on the way back home.

      1. Joy’s friend told me there is a small hospital/clinic at UPV in Miagao, but I didn’t see it when I visited there. I think anything major though would require going to a hospital in Iloilo which could take a while in rush hour.

        1. I think you’re right, Lance. Miagao looks like a great place but if they have a hospital with limited emergency services, it would defeat our purpose of moving from Guimaras whose local hospital is sorely lacking in emergency facilities. A trip to Iloilo would take too much time.

          1. I agree about the emergency medical services. That’s why, as much as I liked Miagao, I am going to check out Dumaguete next time I am in the Phils. Dumaguete is a much bigger college town with lots of medical facilities, but it’s still smaller, cheaper and more genteel than Iloilo and Siliman University is also top notch like UPV.

  2. San J is still a nice place.There is only one operational beach resort in SJ and it’s nice and moderately priced. I would post a link but they are not on the web. Have you ever seem a horse or caribau fight ? They hold it every year in mid Jauuary at their festival. Only bad part is they don’t allow drinking inside the stadium, so we will have to arrive early and have a few SMB’s before we go in.

    Paul in Iloilo

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